What is Social Distancing?
Everyone has a role to play to reduce and slow the transmission of COVID-19. Social distancing is an essential step in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing is reducing physical interaction between people and it lowers the chances of spreading illness between people. Practice social distancing by putting space (at least 6 feet) between yourself and others.
It is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
These people include older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions. People can follow social distancing by reducing how often they are physically near others, reducing the overall number of people they are physically near, and by keeping at least 6 feet away from others when they do leave their homes.
Staying physically apart is important, even in places like the workplace, school, when shopping, or in other places in your community. The goal of social distancing is to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
How can I Cope with Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Social distancing may make some people feel socially or culturally isolated, and possibly lead to loneliness, depression and poor health. It is important to use other non-physical ways to connect with family and friends, like sending a letter, phone calls, video calls, or social media. Exercising in or around your home or yard and sitting or working outside, close to home, can also help.
Social distancing to stay healthy and safe may prevent people from following some traditional and ceremonial practices. This may be especially relevant for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities, but it is very important to use social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Below are some ways to cope with social distancing and the stress COVID-19 may cause:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic continuously can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body and mind. Take deep breaths, meditate, stretch, and exercise regularly.
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Connect with others online or on the phone and talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Make time to relax and do activities you enjoy that can be done while social distancing.